Birthday boy wins Filipino elite title
Double celebration for men’s winner Benedicto; Torres is new women’s champion
Reigning Filipino elite champion August Benedicto had every reason to celebrate yesterday. He actually had two.
This after he successfully defended his Filipino Elite title in the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines yesterday, when he was also celebrating his 31st birthday.
Benedicto bagged his second straight Filipino Elite title via thrilling fashion after beating Cebuano John Philip Dueñas by just six seconds, finishing with a time of 4:28:36.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Benedicto, who had all sorts of problems from the start of the race until the end.
“Sobrang nahirapan ako. Pagdating sa bike, sumusuka ako. Pero sabi ko, matapos ko lang to masaya na ako. Salamat sa Panginoon dahil talagang yung swim nahirapan ako (I really had a difficult time. When I reached the bike leg, I was vomiting. But I said to myself, I’d be happy just to finish. Thank God because I really had a tough time in the swim),” Benedicto said.
His ultimate test was in the final stages of the run event, when he and Dueñas were neck and neck heading into the finish line.
Benedicto’s late push allowed him to escape with the win. He screamed for joy upon reaching the finish line but later collapsed from sheer exhaustion.
Dueñas also suffered from overfatigue at the finish line together with third-placer Banjo Norte (4:29:05).
“I suffered from cramps. I lacked electrolytes,” Dueñas said. “The medical team attended to me for one hour. It’s a good thing I wasn’t hospitalized.”
The soft-spoken Benedicto struggled in the swim part of the race, clocking 31:56. He made a huge comeback in the bike competition, clocking 2:23:48.
Benedicto said he is looking forward to the Duathlon World Championships next month and the Power Man Duathlon Philippines in November.
But after the win, Benedicto was just set on celebrating his hard-earned victory.
“Celebration mamayang gabi kasi birthday ko naman. Pagkatapos nito balik ng training ulit kasi lalaro ako ng duathlon world championships. After mga one week, recover then training (I will celebrate tonight because it’s my birthday. After this, back to training because I am competing in the duathlon world championships.
After one week, recover then training),” he said.
Meanwhile, Monica Torres dethroned last year’s champion Maria Victoria Jopson, bagging the women’s crown with a time of 4:39:37.
“I’m happy since it is my fastest time this year,” she said. “I was working hard towards the go time.”
Maria Hodges finished second with a time of 4:53:09 while LC Langit placed third. finishing with a time of 5:05:30.
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